BLISTERING heat over the weekend scorched round nine of central Gippsland cricket as two full days of play were abandoned.
The CGCA heat policy came into effect on both Saturday and Sunday, forcing the cancellation of the weekend’s scheduled two-day fixtures.
A late start to the season meant the CGCA needed to squeeze in an extra day’s play prior to Christmas, leading to a Saturday and Sunday round at the weekend.
However, as the mercury hovered relentlessly around the 40 degree mark, play was called off on both days in an extraordinary double whammy.
CGCA president Tony Flynn said the league had a range of policies surrounding weather anomalies to ensure player welfare was observed.
“As a league we understand there is a duty of care… on days with particularly high winds and circumstances like that there’s other risk factors (we take into account) as well,” Flynn said.
“I’m very comfortable with the decision; you wouldn’t want too many people out there in that sort of weather, even with lots of drink breaks.”
The CGCA heat policy dictates additional drinks breaks and a cautious approach when temperatures broach 33 degrees as per the Bureau of Meteorology reading from Latrobe Regional Airport.
When 38 degrees is forecast for an extended period of time matches are called off.
The CGCA has had a heat policy in place for some time, though the threshold has varied over the years, and has previously been at 36 degrees for cancellations.
Flynn said it was important the league had a hard and fast rule in place to ensure a level playing field and, above all else, safety.
“It’s a rule that gets debated every year (the temperature threshold) but it’s one the clubs agreed on when it went to the rules committee last year,” Flynn said.
“Having the league call it takes away any discretion (on the part of individual teams or umpires determining whether play should take place), everyone’s clear on what the rules are, it’s across the board.
“You can’t decide to play to see if you can get the points.”
In-form Jeeralang-Boolarra will be disappointed to miss its chance to host Morwell and make a play for a top four spot, with 6.5 points the difference to fourth-placed Trafalgar.
Bottom placed Moe was also on the hunt for points at home against Mirboo North.
CGCA will resume on 9 January.